The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has fined two telecommunications providers for cold calling people on the telemarketing ban register.
Vocus subsidiary Primus Telecommunications and iSelect both paid infringement notices of $8,400 each, while fellow carrier Dodo Services, another Vocus Group subsidiary, has been warned against further cold calls to consumers who have withdrawn consent.
ACMA said it began investigations into the carriers following complaints by people registered on Australia’s Do Not Call Register, which was set up in 2006 and to ban telemarketers from making unsolicited calls to those listed.
Vocus Group, which owns both Primus and Dodo, said the calls were made due to 'human error'.
It admitted two Primus sales agents were responsible for making 40 telemarketing calls and one Dodo representative made four 'incorrectly handled' calls.
“We have worked hard to ensure we have a robust framework in place to ensure compliance with our telemarketing obligations," Dodo and Primus chief customer officer Matt Walsh said.
"As soon as this issue was discovered, we retrained the three team members to follow the correct procedures. While we have moved away from the former consumer management team’s telemarketing model of 2017, we maintain our rigour around process to minimise the risk of such mistakes occurring again.”
“Telemarketers must have the permission of the consumer involved to call a number on the Do Not Call Register,” ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin added.
“Consumers have the right to withdraw their consent to accept or continue a call at any time. Telemarketers must listen to consumers and take their obligations seriously by removing people from calling lists when asked.”
ACMA has so far issued $385,200 in fines for telemarketing breaches this year. Businesses in continuous breach can face Federal Court action.
The latest ACMA raps come after an investigation into telcos’ complaints-handling procedure, whereby 31 were left facing enforcement over their procedures, including Dodo and Primus.